The family of British teacher Lindsay Hawker have flown back to Japan to see her killer sentenced.
Lindsay Hawker, 22, was found dead at Tatsuya Ichihashi's apartment in Ichikawa City, east of Tokyo, in March 2007. Ichihashi, 32, has admitted raping and strangling the English language teacher but said he did not intend to kill her.
The judges and jurors jointly hearing his murder trial at Chiba District Court are due to deliver their verdict and sentence on Thursday.
Miss Hawker's parents, Bill and Julia, and sisters, Lisa and Louise, flew into Tokyo's Narita airport ahead of the hearing.
Clutching a small photograph of his daughter, Mr Hawker told Japanese reporters: "We expect to get the judgment we are hoping for." He earlier asked the court to give Ichihashi the "heaviest punishment" possible.
Under Japanese law, the killer could theoretically receive the death penalty, but prosecutors have called for him to be jailed for life instead.
Leeds University graduate Miss Hawker, from Brandon, near Coventry, travelled to Japan in October 2006 to work as an English teacher with the Nova language school.
She was last seen alive after giving her killer an English lesson in a coffee shop on March 25 2007.
Ichihashi went on the run after Japanese police discovered the young teacher's battered and bound body buried naked in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of his flat. He was finally arrested at a ferry terminal in the city of Osaka in western Japan in November 2009.
He told his murder trial on July 4 that he enticed Miss Hawker into his apartment, raped her and then strangled her because he feared neighbours would hear her screams and call the police. He admitted causing her death but said he did not plan to murder her and could not remember strangling her.